Large-Eddy Simulations of Flow in the FDA Benchmark Nozzle Geometry to Predict Hemolysis

Nicolas Tobin, Keefe B. Manning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: Modeling of hemolysis due to fluid stresses faces significant methodological challenges, particularly in geometries with turbulence or complex flow patterns. It is currently unclear how existing phenomenological blood-damage models based on laminar viscous stresses can be implemented into turbulent computational fluid dynamics simulations. The aim of this work is to generalize the existing laminar models to turbulent flows based on first principles, and validate this generalization with existing experimental data. Methods: A novel analytical and numerical framework for the simulation of flow-induced hemolysis based on the intermittency-corrected turbulent viscous shear stress (ICTVSS) is introduced. The proposed large-eddy simulation framework is able to seamlessly transition from laminar to turbulent conditions in a single flow domain by linking laminar shear stresses to dissipation of mechanical energy, accounting for intermittency in turbulent dissipation, and relying on existing power-law hemolysis models. Simulations are run to reproduce previously published hemolysis data with bovine blood in a benchmark geometry. Two sets of experimental data are relied upon to tune power-law parameters and justify that tuning. The first presents hemolysis measurements in a simple laminar flow, and the second is hemolysis in turbulent flow through the FDA benchmark nozzle. Validation is performed by simulation of blood injected into a turbulent jet of phosphate-buffered saline, with modifications made to account for the local concentration of blood. Results: Hemolysis predictions are found to be very sensitive to power-law parameters in the turbulent case, though a set of parameters is presented that both matches the turbulent data and is well-justified by the laminar data. The model is shown to be able to predict the general behavior of hemolysis in a second turbulent case. Results suggest that wall shear may play a dominant role in most cases. Conclusion: The ICTVSS framework of generalizing laminar power-law models to turbulent flows shows promise, but would benefit from further numerical validation and carefully designed experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-267
Number of pages14
JournalCardiovascular Engineering and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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